How to Paint Leaves in Acrylics
Leaves are an important part of painting flowers, so this little post and video on how to paint leaves will help you get the basics down on how to paint many types.
How to paint leaves in acrylics, one stroke at a time. This is just a few basic leaves to get started with, there are many more and I will update this post and/or create another for more types of leaves.
Note: the first video in this post is a quick overview, a full length, real time video with narration is at the end of this post.
I don’t try to make them absolutely realistic but more of an indication of what a particular plants leaves look like.
Many of my flower painting tutorials have the leaf tutorial with them.
Here are a few examples:
How to Paint Geraniums
How to Paint Iris
How to Paint a Pretty Poppy
Get Started painting leaves
A good set of brushes to get started with are the One Stroke set.
How to paint a Scallop Stroke Leaf
Double load your brush with a dark green and a lighter green.
Make a v by tapping your chisel edge of the brush on your practice piece.
To begin your stroke place the chisel edge on one half of the V then press down on your brush, wiggle as you drag the brush along to create a half heart shape.
Let your brush lift to a point as you reach the tip.
Now start on the other half of the V and do the same thing, try and make the tips meet so you do not have two leaf tips.
I frequently get two tips and just go over that bit to correct.
Don’t flip the brush, but you probably should reload with paint.
Keep the dark side of the brush next to the light when beginning the next stroke.
Do it the same way you did the first stroke and let your brush spring back to a chisel edge.
And there you have a leaf.
Paint Slider Leaf or Petal Stroke leaf
On to the slider leaf.
With the chisel edge of your brush draw a stem.
This is merely for placement, you can draw it in later if you wish.
Press your brush onto the surface at an angle from the step, not straight down.
We are trying to avoid a broad flat base to the leaf. In the video I show it better.
You can also use a filbert brush, you will get a more rounded base of the leaf.
Touch, press and lift to a point by turn the brush as you stroke.
I use this one a lot for small filler leaves.
How to paint Long Leaves
To make a longer leaf, just drag the paint brush out further.
The video includes more leaves including some shadow leaves which work well for in the background.
Below is an older leaf painting video
How to Paint a Scallop Leaf
and that is pretty much it.
Want free painting patterns and the latest painting lessons as they are added?
More leaf painting lessons:
How to Paint Pumpkin Leaves
Paint Fall Oak Leaves
How to Paint Fall Leaves
You may also enjoy:
How to Paint Fall Leaves
How to Paint a Nest
How to Paint a Simple Beach Scene
Feel Free to PIN & Share
Just perfect explanation for me, a beginner.
Bello… Me encanta el trabajo que haces y lo compartes con todos. Éxitos. Si entendi. Solo me queda prácticas:)
Hello! This is fabulous! I’ve learned so many things within a leaf. Leather’s my medium and there are times when I want to paint in foliage backgrounds compared to tooling.
Thank you for sharing this!!
Larry of acrossleather
Pam I love your tutorials – THANK YOU!
You are quite welcome! Thank you for letting me know.
What great & easy to follow steps. I will definitely try painting leaves. Next will be flowers. Thanks again!
My mom is 90years young,I’m following you,and then teaching my mom. She is so exited and willing to learn
Will keep you posted
Sounds like you will have some fun together!